Wanna pawn some shit? Shop around.

People forced to use pawn shops for banking services tend to be those without ready access to traditional banks, not to mention very possibly desperate and in a hurry. All in all, not a business that naturally “lends itself” (a joke) to the process of shopping around for the best price.

But that is a big mistake! This fascinating piece on Priceonomics—based on data from the online pawn site PawnGuru—shows that the differences in price that different pawn shops will offer for the same item is absolutely obscene. Here are some samples of how much offers from pawn shops varied for the same items in these categories:

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  • Tools: 69%
  • Electronics: 99%
  • Guns: 100%
  • iPhone: 167%
  • Jewelry: 475%

By shopping your items around to different pawn shops instead of taking the first offer, you could make so much more money it is fucking crazy. Pawn shops make the subprime mortgage business look like a haven of standardized fairness.

Don’t use pawn shops if you can help it because they’re a ripoff but if you have to use pawn shops then shop around.

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[Priceonomics. Photo: Flickr]